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18 Feb, 2024

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This AI-powered photo editor was launched by Skylum in December 2020. It features several AI-powered tools for tasks like landscape editing, portrait enhancements, sky replacement, and more. It's available as a standalone application for Mac and Windows, as well as a plugin for Lightroom and Photos for MacOS.

Its use of artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance the photo editing process. It's designed to simplify and accelerate the editing workflow, making advanced editing techniques accessible to both professionals and amateurs.

Luminar Features

  • AI-Powered Editing: Luminar uses advanced artificial intelligence to automate complex photo editing tasks. This includes automatically enhancing details, textures, and colors, making the editing process faster and more efficient.
  • Sky Replacement Technology: This feature allows users to replace skies in photos with a single click. The AI accurately detects the sky in an image and seamlessly integrates a new sky, adjusting the rest of the photo for a natural look.
  • Portrait AI: Luminar offers specialized tools for portrait editing, such as skin enhancement, face reshaping, and eye correction. These tools use AI to naturally retouch portraits while preserving authentic textures and details.
  • Templates (AI Presets): The software provides a variety of AI-driven templates that automatically adjust to the content of the photo. These templates offer quick, professional-grade edits tailored to the specific characteristics of each image.
  • Atmosphere AI: Users can add realistic atmospheric effects like fog, mist, or haze to their photos. The AI ensures these effects blend naturally with the existing elements of the photo, enhancing depth and mood.
  • Structure AI: This tool enhances detail and clarity in images without creating artificial sharpness or noise. It intelligently identifies areas that need more definition and applies adjustments accordingly.
  • Mood Tool: The Mood tool allows users to alter the overall tone and feel of their images using color grading techniques powered by AI. This feature offers a range of color palettes to create specific atmospheric effects.
  • Composition AI: Luminar can suggest optimal crops and compositions, using AI to analyze the elements in a photo. This feature helps in achieving balanced and aesthetically pleasing compositions.

Luminar Pricing

  • Standalone Plan: Pay USD $99 for one license and$119 for two licenses
  • Expert Pack: Pay USD $148 for one license and $168 for two licenses.

Luminar Usages

  • Efficient Photo Editing: Luminar is designed for quick and efficient photo editing, reducing the time required for complex tasks like sky replacement, portrait retouching, and landscape enhancement.
  • Professional-Quality Results for Amateurs: The AI-driven tools enable even amateur photographers to achieve professional-quality results without needing extensive knowledge of photo editing techniques.
  • Creative Exploration: With features like Atmosphere AI, Mood Tool, and various templates, users can explore creative possibilities, experimenting with different styles and effects to enhance their photos.
  • Portrait Photography Enhancement: The software excels in portrait editing with tools like Skin AI, Face AI, and Body AI, making it ideal for photographers focusing on portraiture.
  • Landscape Photography Transformation: Landscape tools like Golden Hour and Foliage Enhancer allow for dramatic transformations in landscape photography, enhancing colors and lighting for more impactful images.
  • Streamlined Workflow for Professionals: Professional photographers can benefit from Luminar’s efficiency, using it to speed up their workflow while maintaining high-quality outputs.

Luminar Competitors

  • Topaz Labs Software: Topaz Labs offers a suite of photo editing tools that leverage AI for tasks such as noise reduction (Topaz DeNoise AI), sharpening (Topaz Sharpen AI), and photo enlargement (Topaz Gigapixel AI). These tools are known for their specific functionalities driven by AI technology.
  • Capture One: Known for its raw image processing capabilities, Capture One has begun integrating AI technologies into its software. Features like AI-driven image cataloging and editing enhancements are part of its offerings.
  • Adobe Photoshop: it is the industry standard for image editing. It offers a wide range of features and tools, including many that are similar to those found in Luminar. However, Photoshop is also more complex and expensive than Luminar.

Luminar Launch & Funding

Luminar was announced by Skylum in 2019 as the first image editor fully powered by artificial intelligence.

Before its official launch, Luminar secured $3 million in funding from Atomico, a European venture capital firm. In 2021, Skylum raised an additional $35 million in Series B funding led by Growth Equity Partners. 

Luminar Limitation


  • Over-Reliance on Automation: Some photographers may find the AI too automated, offering less manual control over fine details compared to traditional photo editing software.
  • Resource Intensive: Advanced features can be resource-intensive, potentially slowing down on less powerful computers, which could be a limitation for users with older hardware.
  • Learning Curve for Advanced Features: While Luminar is user-friendly, some advanced features may require a learning curve, especially for users accustomed to manual photo editing software.
  • Potential for Over-Processed Images: The ease of applying multiple AI adjustments can lead to over-processed images if not used judiciously.
  • Software Compatibility and Integration: While Luminar can be used as a plugin, its integration with other photo editing platforms may not be as seamless as some users require, especially in professional settings.
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